Why Lithium Power? What’s Wrong with AGM Batteries?
Even before the current electric vehicle revolution, electric wheelchairs had already become the preferred option for many people who needed mobility assistance. As the rest of the world tries to catch up, there’s a new revolution for electric wheelchairs – batteries. For the longest time, AGM batteries have been powering these mobility-assistance devices.
However, the electric wheelchair industry is now shifting to lithium power, led by trailblazing stakeholders like TrackMaster Mobility. We now offer both of its all-terrain electric wheelchairs with lithium power. Here’s why lithium batteries are replacing AGM batteries in electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Lithium Batteries are Lightweight
Wheelchairs are often designed to weigh as little as possible so that users can easily maneuver them and minimize the risk of injury in case of an accident. Additionally, the overall weight of an electric wheelchair can have a notable impact on its range. Generally, a lighter battery will take you further than a heavier battery of the same energy density – if all other factors remain constant.
Lithium batteries are significantly lighter than AGM batteries of a similar energy density. As a result, electric wheelchairs relying on lithium power as much easier to move around with, and you are less likely to get into an accident. Moreover, you will get a better distance range.
Lithium Batteries have a Longer Lifespan.
AGM batteries typically need to be replaced after 500 to 800 charge cycles. Suppose you are charging your electric wheelchair with an AGM battery about once a day. In that case, you can expect the battery to last one to two years before needing replacement. In contrast, Lithium batteries can last over 4000 charge cycles. If you charge your wheelchair once a day, the battery can last up to 10 years.
Although Lithium batteries command a higher purchasing price than AGM batteries, the fact that you never have to replace them for about 10 years means you will save money in the long run. Besides the lower cost of ownership, you can have peace of mind knowing your wheelchair battery won’t develop any problems in the near future.
Lithium Batteries are Maintenance-Free
AGM batteries are lead-acid batteries that are sealed off and utilize an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) to attract and hold the electrolyte. While these batteries require less maintenance than conventional lead-acid batteries, they still need some maintenance. AGM batteries don’t need regular checking and topping off with distilled water to sustain proper electrolyte levels.
However, you still need to consistently charge the AGM battery to prevent sulfation and maintain full capacity. Frequent equalizing is also necessary to avert electrolyte stratification and extend the battery life. On the other hand, lithium batteries need no maintenance apart from cleaning the terminals occasionally.
Lithium Batteries are More Environment-Friendly
If your wheelchair uses an AGM battery, you can expect to run through at least 6 of them in 10 years compared to one lithium battery. Since lead-acid batteries have more demanding recycling parameters, some of your beaten batteries will likely end up in a landfill rather than recycled.
Keep in mind that lead-acid batteries contain lots of toxic chemicals that can sip into the land and groundwater if not correctly disposed of. This can harm people, animals, and plants around the landfill.
Besides their longevity, lithium batteries are more environmentally friendly because they are easier to recycle, meaning you likely won’t end up in a landfill. If it does, don’t fret; lithium batteries have fewer toxic chemicals.
Time to Upgrade Your Electric Wheelchair
Given all the benefits of lithium power, it’s time to upgrade your wheelchair’s AGM battery to a lithium battery. If you have been feeling adventurous lately, it’s time to get an even bigger upgrade. Can you imagine a wheelchair you can use to explore all kinds of terrains with little effort? TrackMaster Mobility has you covered.
Call us for more insights on our all-terrain electric wheelchair offerings – all powered by lithium batteries.